I AM Andy's Mom - Spreading Sunshine
by Elizabeth Boisson
I AM Andy’s Mom
As I was walking into the gym, one of Andy’s 16-year-old classmates came running up to me and exclaimed…. “You’re Andy’s mom!” Taken back for a moment, I responded, “Yes I AM Andy’s mom!” We chit chatted for a moment and then she went bouncing on into her workout class. I stood still for a bit processing what had just happened and allowed the tears of joy and sorrow flow down my cheeks.
It had been just a year since my precious Andy moved to Heaven after completing suicide at the age of 16. And while I had made great strides on my journey to live again, the void and trauma in my life were still quite fresh. This young girl’s proclamation that I AM, in the present tense, Andy’s mom, was literally a game changer for me. You see, she didn’t approach me with trepidation and sorrow, or speak to me in the past tense. I suppose that most of us would expect her to use words and statements like… You WERE Andy’s mom, or I’m so sorry for your loss of Andy, or possibly just avoiding me all together. But no, she was joyful and speaking like Andy was still here.
It was in that moment that I realized the power of my speech and presentation. I began speaking about suicide prevention just 4 months after Andy moved to Heaven to various schools and businesses. All the while using words of hope and healing even though I hadn’t yet achieved those emotions. I wanted so bad to help others not go through the trauma that my family was living with, that I was willing to put aside my own heartache. In addition, I was posting on social media only things that were encouraging and uplifting. Let me give you an example: “Today when I woke up, the immediate sorrow and realization that my Andy isn’t here hit me like a freight train and yet I will look for ways to honor his life and rebuild mine every second of the day. You Matter!” I was being real about my current state of mind while still setting the intention of hopeful transformation and healing.
The result of my presentations and my writings had done two things over that first year. They had helped me to take my eyes off myself and serve others which in turn served me. In addition, speaking words of hope into the lives of others had all the while been birthing hope in me. Such power in our speech and thoughts!
People were watching and listening to everything that I said which was evident when that young girl approached me at the gym. I understood the ability that I had to not only help others but also to help myself. But the real “aha” was that she was speaking in the present tense. He lives through and all around me. I AM indeed still Andy’s mom!
Shine on, Moms and Dads~LeAnn Hull, Andy's Proud Mama and the founder of Andy Hull's Sunshine Foundation.
LeAnn is the author of How to Live When You Want to Die, available on Amazon. She is also the Co-Affiliate Leader with Sophia Mecum of our new group, Helping Parents Heal - Healing After Suicide.